Usually, when a gaming studio announces layoffs, it’s less about losing people and more about more PR-friendly terms like “reorganization” or “restructuring.” That’s typically all we hear about such things, as we’re left in the dark to wonder exactly how things have been reorganized and how having fewer people on board will better serve players.
ArenaNet suffered layoffs in February, saying at the time that it was “part of a larger organizational restructuring within NCSoft in the West.” Guild Wars 2 Game Director Mike Zadorojny said that the changes would lead ArenaNet to “re-evaluate our schedules,” and — somewhat surprisingly — today he authored a follow-up post describing some of that restructuring and what it means for the future of the game.
As Zadorojny laid it out, the GW2 team now consists of four content teams, with additional teams devoted to keeping track of overarching game elements, such as skill balance, rewards, WvW, and sPvP. He hopes that the autonomy given to these teams will result in “a relatively steady release of new content,” culminating in the conclusion to Living World Season 4. Chapter 6 of the season is currently in its final stages, bringing with it small-scale open world content and a new raid.
Season 5 is already in the works as well, and Zadorojny dropped a few juicy features that are also still-in-development-so-don’t-take-them-as-ironclad-promises-yet: legendary runes and sigils, build templates(!), a Cooking skill increase, WvW world restructuring, and Swiss sPvP tournaments. In the even more nebulous and farther-out future, Zadorojny discussed eight-hour scoring for WvW, 500-level Jewelry, and a sPvP/WvW-themed festival. It’s a lot of information to digest, so check out Zadorojny’s post for yourself to get all the details.
Meanwhile, Week Two of the Welcome Back Initiative is underway, with another free story episode, livestreams from both developers and partners, Gem Store deals, and more. Learn more about this part of the party on the Guild Wars 2 site.